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Are You Overbearing or Self-Willed?

Have you ever thought of overbearing as a sin?

In Titus 1:7, we read that an elder is not to be overbearing (NIV 84) or self-willed (NKJV, NASB).

The definition of overbearing from Websters – disregarding the wishes of others, arrogant, domineering, to press or bear down by weight or physical power.

The definition of self-willed from Websters – persistent carrying out of one’s own will or wishes especially when it is in conflict with others, stubborn, obstinate.

Vines Expository Dictionary has this to say about the Greek word:

“self-pleasing” (autos, “self,” hedomai, “to please”), denotes one who, dominated by self-interest, and inconsiderate of others, arrogantly asserts his own will, “self-willed,” Tts 1:7;2Pe 2:10 (the opposite of epieikes, “gentle,” e.g., 1Ti 3:3), “one so far overvaluing any determination at which he has himself once arrived that he will not be removed from it”

If overbearing can be a sin of an elder, then can it also be a sin of a parent?

Yes.  Even while exercising their God given authority, parents can be domineering, stubborn, and disregard the wishes of others. God has given us authority to build up and not to tear down. Being self-willed seems a particular temptation of those in leadership who generally get their way. The question remains as to whether we are able to lead when we should, and back down when we should.

So, since you usually prevail as a parent, you are susceptible to being overbearing or self-willed.  You might ask your spouse if you are being overbearing/self-willed with your child. He or she will probably be happy to tell you!

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